- The Warner Brothers Corporate Archive is located in Los Angeles.
- It’s where they keep all the Batmobiles and Batman masks.
- The Archive holds around 30,000 costumes.
Following is a transcript of the video.
– [Caroline] This is the Warner Bros. Archive in Los Angeles, a prop warehouse that helps preserve the history of one of Hollywood’s greatest studios. And we had the rare opportunity to take a tour.
– We have everything from cars, as you might see. We have props. We have over almost 30,000 costumes.
– [Caroline] This is Bonnie Fallone Otto. She’s the director of the Warner Bros. Corporate Archive.
– And we have some set deck too.
– She showed us props and costumes that go back decades and explained how they maintain them and why the archive is so important. Oh, and I may have geeked out just a little bit. I just remembered that Leonardo DiCaprio sat in this car.
– Yes, he did! Oh, my gosh, does it smell like him? OK, oh, my God! The first thing that strikes you about the archive is just how massive it is. And there was still a ton of ground we didn’t get to cover. The “Batman” movies have been a defining property for Warner Bros. since Tim Burton’s iconic 1989 movie starring Michael Keaton and Jack Nicholson.
– You can call me Joker.
– So from which movies are these Batmobiles from?
– This one over here is from “Batman Returns.” This is the Batmissile. Over here, this is the spinner car from Michael Keaton’s “Batman,” so it’s quite old. They used it for a sequence where the Batmobile spun around.
– And then over here is the George Clooney Batmobile from “Batman and Robin.” So now if you want to sit in it.
– I can?
– Absolutely, go ahead, jump in.
– I jump in? Oh. How does George Clooney fit in here? Oh, God. I’m scared to move. And let’s not forget this giant tank-like Batmobile from “Batman v Superman” and “Justice League.” This is my Batman ride. It weighs 8,300 pounds and is around 11.5 feet wide. It’s not easy to move it from place to place. Sometimes productions need more than one version of the same car. This was Joker’s car from “Suicide Squad.” One of these cars can actually drive, one was just used for static shots, and the third one?
– That’s ruining date night! Has a hole in its roof. But enough about “Batman” for a moment. There was another car I was really excited about, the Duesenberg from “The Great Gatsby.”
– Custom job. Supercharged engine.
– Ah. Wait, I just remembered that Leonardo DiCaprio sat in this car.
– Yes, he did! Wow, Oh, my God, Leonardo DiCaprio’s butt was here. And look at all of these costumes. They’re stored in custom-made muslin bags that help keep out moisture, and it’s a who’s who in there. We saw some outfits that were used in movies as recent as 2018’s “Crazy Rich Asians.” So this is the dress that was worn in the engagement scene. And of course probably my favourite outfit from all of the gowns and everything was this that Awkwafina’s character wore inside her home. And then we saw hats worn in “My Fair Lady” dating all the way back to 1964. ♪ The rain in Spain stays mainly in the plain ♪
– [Bonnie] That was worn when she returned to Covent Garden after she became a lady. So the straw is in beautiful condition.
– [Bonnie] And even some of the colours are still pretty much intact.
– [Caroline] Especially delicate outfits are wrapped in acid-free paper and put in acid-free boxes to keep them in mint condition. There was also a wide array of other types of props and set pieces. So Margot Robbie, um, hello, and that’s her bat. Ew! They actually have the hair on it too. Preserving pieces of film history like this is incredibly important, but it’s not easy. This archive has been around since 1992.
– Before the archive was set up, there really was no protocol as to where these assets were going, so many times they went home with cast and crew.
– [Caroline] A lot of iconic movie props, puppets, and animatronics are made out of materials like foam, which, sadly, deteriorate over the years.
– When you’re in production, all they care about is getting that shot. So a lot of times they’re not made to last, and then they come here, and we are commissioned to do that. We’ve gotta figure out the best way to make that, at least preserve the life of that prop.
– [Caroline] While the archive isn’t open to the public, a lot of these props often go on tour, so you too can one day get a chance to sit in the Batmobile. Batman. No? Batman. It’s my Batman ride.
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